State Roundup, October 24, 2018

SUN ENDORSES HOGAN: In a long, detailed editorial listing positives and negatives, the Baltimore Sun endorses the re-election of Gov. Larry Hogan, saying they almost endorsed him four years ago.  They also have some positive things to say about Democrat Ben Jealous.  They conclude: “We have our disagreements with Governor Hogan. His decision on the Red Line, in particular, we will have a hard time forgetting. But in considering the totality of his record, we conclude that he has lived up to his promise to govern in a way that reflects Maryland’s “middle temperament.” He was the right leader for Maryland during his first term, and we believe he will be again for a second. He has our endorsement.”

CANDIDATES BANK EARLY VOTES: Maryland’s eight-day early voting period for the Nov. 6 General Election begins Thursday at a time when it is becoming increasingly common for voters to get a jump on Election Day, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports. The kickoff of early voting presents an opportunity for the hundreds of candidates on the ballot — including Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic challenger Ben Jealous — to bank the votes of their most ardent supporters. And campaigns around the state are mobilizing to do just that.

EARLY VOTING IN ARUNDEL: Columnist Jimmy DeButts of the Annapolis Capital explains how to vote early in Anne Arundel County.

MORE REPUBLICAN WA CO VOTERS: Washington County is a little redder and a tad less blue in this election year than during the last general election in 2016, writes Tamela Baker for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. It’s not a presidential year, but most state and local offices are on the ballot in November. And while the Democrats might have lost a few voters, the number of unaffiliated voters has risen — as has the number of Libertarians, according to statistics from the local and state election boards.

PART 3: BAY CLEANUP & PROBLEM OF PENNSYLVANIA: Across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, controlling runoff from agriculture and stormwater has proven difficult for decades. Nowhere is the problem greater than in Pennsylvania, which has more of both than any other state in the Bay region — and where efforts to control them are the farthest off track, writes Karl Blankenship of the Bay Journal. This is Part 3 of his series, appearing in MarylandReporter, on whether the Bay cleanup efforts are working.

TRONE, THE INTERVIEW: Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat interviews 6th Congressional District candidate David Trone, a Democrat. He speaks extensively on the opioid crisis and working across party lines to deal with it and the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, as well as drug pricing. He also addresses his health – he was was recently treated for cancer and had a kidney removed – and the importance of the NIH in research.

GIANGRANDE, YOUNG DIFFER ON DEVELOPMENT FUNDING: The proposed downtown Frederick hotel and conference center has been years in the making, and historically, local senators and delegates have stayed true to party lines when it comes to supporting use of public money for development. While city and county officials from both parties have voted to provide local funds for the project, Republicans representing Frederick County in the General Assembly have opposed state funding plans and Democrats have voted in favor of them. As it stands, the candidates running for the Senate in District 3 – Republican Craig Giangrande and incumbent Democrat Ron Young are no exception, Mallory Panuska reports in the Frederick News Post.

ON AL REDMER: In this profile of Al Redmer, the Republican running for Baltimore County executive, Pamela Wood of the Sun writes that Redmer has been a fixture in Annapolis for decades — he served 13 years in the House of Delegates and was twice appointed by governors to be Maryland’s insurance commissioner. Yet he’s never strayed from his roots in Baltimore County, where he grew up in Perry Hall, graduated from Perry Hall High School and served as president of the neighborhood’s community association. He’s passionate about helping those in his home county.

ON JOHNNY OLZSEWSKI: Johnny Olzsewski began laying the groundwork to run for Baltimore County executive four years ago, after his defeat for state Senate. He’s been in perpetual campaign mode touting the details of his many proposals — including plans to build new schools, expand free prekindergarten and community college, and make Baltimore County the next jurisdiction to embrace public financing of elections. “Our campaign has been marked with very specific, detailed policy proposals,” says Olszewski, 36, in this profile by Pamela Wood of the Sun.

15 BALLOT QUESTIONS: There are 15 ballot questions waiting for Baltimore County voters. Pamela Wood of the Sun offers a primer on each.

ROBIN FICKER, UNTRADITIONAL CANDIDATE: In this first profile of the three candidates for Montgomery County executive, Jennifer Barrios of the Post writes about Republican Robin Ficker, a 75-year-old defense attorney and onetime sports heckler who has made seeking office a second career. He’s far from a traditional candidate, but he is a relentless one: This is his 20th attempt for office over more than 40 years.

ELRICH MAKES CABLE AD BUY: With two weeks until the election, Marc Elrich, Democratic candidate for Montgomery County executive, has spent $93,016 on two separate week-long sets of cable ads, which together begin running Tuesday and will continue through Nov. 5, the day before the General Election.

ETHICS RULING ‘ABSURD:’ The editorial board of the Annapolis Capital calls a recent ruling to not look into an ethics complaint against County Executive Steve Schuh, brought by his rival Steuart Pittman, “absurd,” opining that the absurdity of the Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission ruling is almost too thick to see through. Almost. Because the manager of Steuart Pittman’s campaign for county executive spoke to The Capital about his intent to file an ethics complaint against incumbent Steve Schuh, the commission has decided it won’t consider it.

PRINCE GEORGE’s OKs PUBLIC FINANCING: The Post’s Rachel Chason reports that the Prince George’s County Council approved public financing for local political candidates early Wednesday, following a marathon meeting that marked the end of this year’s legislative session. The legislation, which was backed by a variety of progressive groups, follows similar measures that were approved in recent years in Montgomery County, Howard County and the District. Candidates must agree not to accept donations exceeding $250 to participate in the program, which provides matching funds for donations up to $150.

2nd HOMES BANNED AS SHORT-TERM RENTALS: One week after the D.C. Council delayed a vote on similar legislation, the Prince George’s County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban residents from renting out second homes on short-term platforms such as Airbnb, reports Rachel Chason of the Post.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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